The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas


Like many other reviewers, I am astounded by this book. I don’t think the right words will come, but I’m going to try.

This book deserves all the hype it received. It was like a sucker punch to the heart in the best way. But it hurts, because it exposes everything.

I’m sure The Hate U Give wasn’t written so white people like me could better understand what it’s like for a black girl like Starr to live her life and experience the injustice she experienced. It was written so people like her—whose representation in media is always lacking—could see themselves in this main character and feel known and empowered.

Even so, I gained so much from learning about Starr’s perspective, and I’m so thankful for the author’s truthful, raw portrayal. This truly is why we need diverse books—but even more so, why we need #OwnVoices books.

This story made me laugh, cry, smile, and feel sick to my stomach. There were moments I happily turned pages to learn about Starr and her family, her boyfriend, her struggles and grief, and then there were moments when I was practically ripping through pages, at the edge of my seat to see what would happen next. It was a character-driven and plot-driven book. The best kind.

The Hate U Give is electrifying. It’s compassionate, complex, powerful, mournful, and fed up. It doesn’t sugar coat the truth. I don’t think I could ever forget about Khalil, even though we barely got to know him directly as the reader. I’m thankful for Angie, who, like Starr, shines a light in the darkness.